pick twoA few years ago I contacted a web designer and told him I wanted a new website created in a hurry. He said, “I can do it cheap, fast or good. But you can only pick two. Which two do you want?”

Your pet sitting and dog walking clients may want all three too but guess what? It’s impossible to get all three in business…unless you want to go out of business because you aren’t making a profit.

If you are a ‘cheap pet sitter’ you are going to begin to get resentful (always happens when the pet sitter wakes up and realizes his or her price are well below market rate). If you try to raise your price too much, too fast then your clients will get resentful. (You don’t want that.) Raising your rates yearly (even by just $1) will help ease the resentment factor and bring your low prices to market rate sooner than if you wait years before raising them.

If you really need clients and some are cheap clients wanting discounts I recommend lowering the amount of time that you’ll spend with the pet. So if your regular 30-minute visit is $18 a visit, offer to do a 15-minute visit for $16. In this way the client will feel like they are getting something and you will have more time for more full price visits. (Obviously you’ll want to make sure that the pet who is getting less time will be well taken care of in 15-minutes. A 15-minute visit works well for shy cats who hide under the bed.)

If you are a sitter who says yes to last minute pet sits and dog walks you will also get resentful. So charge for those last minute sits. I recommend charging your clients a $20-$30 Last Minute Fee (LMF) for those clients who need to meet you or one of your sitters in less than 3 days. If UPS can charge for last minute delivery so can you!

And good? Well, if you aren’t good you won’t be in business very long. Good should always be a part of your business practice. And even better…strive for great. If you are great at what you do your clients will love you and thank you. (And refer you to their friends and neighbors.)

So the next time a client calls and says, “I need you to pet sit tomorrow. I need a low rate and I need you to do a great job with my dog” simply say, “Sure. You can have any two. Which two do you want? Cheap, fast or good?”

 

 

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Employee Handbook Bigger ImageI’ve had a number of you pet sitters ask me for a pet sitting employee handbook and I’ve listened to you!

I get it. You are a busy pet sitting business owner and haven’t had the time to create an employee handbook. Perhaps you’ve recently converted your ICs to employees. Or…perhaps you’ve needed a pet sitting employee handbook for a very long time and it has gone to the bottom of your to do list because it’s such an ordeal to create one from scratch.  Whatever the reason, you just know you need one. Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy is here to help!

If you think it’s challenging to create a handbook and that perhaps creating an employee handbook from scratch is a BEAST to create, you are right.  (This one was a beast to create!)

Our pet sitting employee handbook is the perfect ready-made template. You can edit it as much as you like and insert your own pet sitting business, city and state information and offer it to your employees. Unlike most employee handbooks, this one is geared specifically for pet sitters and dog walkers.  It was created by two pet sitters and also HR team AND an employment lawyer.

Because each city and state differs in terms of employment law we recommend that with the purchase of any employee handbook or legal document that you purchase (whether it be from us or from somewhere else) that you have a local lawyer review it to see if there’s anything that your city or state might require.

This employee handbook contains 54 pages of policies and procedures as well as a lot of necessary information to help your employees do their job in the best possible way and with the least hassle for you. It’s for both dog walking and pet sitting employees and it comes in Word doc format so it’s fully customizable. You can edit the handbook to your heart’s content (though we predict you’ll be very happy with how thorough this pet sitting employee handbook is!)

And guess what? You’ll receive the handbook within 60 seconds of purchasing! How’s that for easy?

Click to find out more and to purchase the Pet Sitting Employee Handbook now.

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HiringTeleclassImageHi there pet sitters and dog walkers,

Got pet sitting or dog walking staff members?

If not, do you want to hire some great people this year? Or…do you consistently hire horrible people? (Don’t worry if you do, there’s hope!)

Guess What? Fear Is Normal. If you haven’t yet hired, you may be feeling some fear about hiring. If so, that’s normal when you are new to hiring (and it’s actually a good thing that keeps you on your toes about hiring the right person). But too much fear can lead to bad decisions or (eek!) no decision at all. And without staff you are working 24/7. Not fun.

 

Is Your ‘Picker’ Off?  If you do have staff members, are they GREAT staff members? Lots of pet sitters are just that…great pet sitters. But they have a hard time making the shift to picking the right people and hiring great staff members. And it IS a big shift to go from pet sitter to someone hiring pet sitters.

 

I Had a Bad Picker Too. Then I Made Big Shifts.  I had a lot of fear around hiring pet sitters too (kept me awake far too many nights when I was first hiring!) When I did hire early on, my staff choices were horrible. But then I discovered foolproof ways that made the hiring process nearly painless and helped me hire incredible people. I hired about 250 pet sitters in the 18 years that I owned my pet sitting business.

 

My Favorite Pet Sitting Staff Compliment Ever. The most common compliment given about my pet sitting company was: “I don’t know where you find your pet sitting and dog walking staff but they are ALL so wonderful.”  Ahh….music to my ears.

 

Hiring Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers. Made Easy. I’m excited to share with you proven ways that will help YOU hire great staff too. At the end of this month I’m teaching a webinar that will help you hire wonderful pet sitters and dog walkers. Click for more information and to sign up now for the webinar How to Hire Great Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers.

 

Looking forward to help you hire wonderful pet sitters and dog walkers so you can get a much-needed break (or just get some office work done!)

Kristin Morrison signatureKristin4

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FacebookBanner4Let me ask you something…

  • Do you feel cranky and irritable when your business phone rings?
  • Has your car become your premier dining spot in between pet sitting, dog training and dog walking jobs?
  • Do you find yourself wanting to walk away from your business because you’ve fallen out of love with it?

Don’t worry, there’s hope! (And just in time for the holidays. Whew!)

I experienced burnout in my own pet business a few years ago and it wasn’t pretty. I nearly threw in the towel in my business. But thankfully I didn’t.

Instead I made some important changes in the way I ran my business and after only one year of making those changes I made more money, worked less and yes, fell in love with my business again. I know, I know… it sounds like a Hollywood movie but it’s true. I’ve helped lots of pet business owners do the same. I can help you too.

BurnoutWebinarImageIf you are ready to recover from business burnout and to create a healthy relationship with your business, so that your pet business works for you instead of you working for your business, you’ll want to attend the upcoming webinar.

Oh, and if you can’t make the webinar date, no problem!

Simply sign up now and let me know you need the replay link and I’ll get it to you the day after the webinar. How’s that for easy? :)

PLEASE NOTE: THE WEBINAR IS NOW OVER BUT GOOD NEWS! YOU CAN CLICK HERE NOW TO PURCHASE THE HOW TO RECOVER FROM PET SITTING BURNOUT WEBINAR REPLAY.

 

 

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4_Week_Image-167Ready to JUMPSTART your life…and your pet sitting business?

Has your pet business (and your life) left you feeling drained… exhausted… uninspired? Have you lost sight of what you wanted to accomplish with your business? Do you feel like there’s no time or energy left to enjoy life outside of work?

When you change the way you live your life… your business naturally shifts as well. If you are ready to transform your life and your business, join me (and pet business owners just like you) on this amazing 4-week journey to fulfillment, balance, and renewed inspiration.

Click to find out more and to sign up now for the 4-Week Best Year Yet Jumpstart Program.

You’ll get to experience your transformational journey with other pet business owners like you who ready to embrace their dreams and create thriving, fulfilled lives (and help you create yours).

This is a virtual program that you can attend on your computer and it’s designed so YOU CAN PARTICIPATE FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. And you can even attend from your pet sitting, dog training or doggy day care office. Think you might need to miss a class? No problem! You can watch, listen and learn from the replay link you’ll receive within 24 hours of each class date. I am committed to making it easy for you to create your best year yet!

Before you attend your first group session on October 22, you’ll create your powerful 12-Month Best Year Yet plan using the Best Year Yet online goal-setting system. After creating your plan you’ll be prepared to transform your visions and goals from dreams to reality.

Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 – Wednesday, November 12, 2014 (4 Wednesdays)

Time: 5:00pm PST / 8:00pm EST

How does class take place?Via webinar. Call-in instructions will be given upon signup.

How long is this class? 90 minutes

How much: $295 (register by Oct. 17) / $395 (register Oct. 18 or later)

Want more information? Click here to find out more and to sign up now for the 4-Week Best Year Yet Jumpstart Program.

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SmallFinalProsperousPetBusinessBanner

We are smack dab in the middle of the Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference. I hope you are enjoying it!

So far we’ve had Patti Moran from Pet Sitters International, Arden Moore, Veronica Boutelle from Dogtec, Thom Somes from Pet Tech, Alicia Dattner, dog trainer extraordinaire Trish King, Jerrod Sessler from Pet Butler and today: Chess Edwards who is speaking on how healthy living can have a dramatic and positive impact on your pet business.

We’ve had a bunch of you send pictures of yourself, your pets and/or your kids watching the videos! Love it!

Below are a few of the many we’ve received from you. Thanks to Maureen McCarthy, Jennifer Stevenson and her daughter Layla, Melissa Middleton and her dog Barkely, and Pet Loving Carer for submitting these photos:

Maureen McCarthy

Jennifer Stevenson and Layla

melissa middleton and barkely

pet loving carer

If you aren’t already signed up, come join us! We’ve got A LOT more speakers headed your way (the online pet business conference ends on October 7).

UPDATE: The conference is over but no worries! You can get the video links sent to you for unlimited viewing immediately to your email inbox upon order (it takes 60 seconds to arrive!)

We’ve got the conference video package available for you for a limited time.

 

Take care and enjoy watching, listening and learning,

Kristin Morrison signature

 

 

 

 

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SmallFinalProsperousPetBusinessBannerReady to take your business to the next level?

I’m hosting the upcoming Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference and will be interviewing experts in the pet business world, including Patti Moran, Ian Dunbar, Paul Mann, Andrea Arden and many others.

The goal of this pet business conference is to inspire pet business owners to break through problems, get unstuck, and move forward on business goals. In short, to empower you to fulfill your dream of working with pets for a living.

This conference has a unique format. It’s free (woo-hoo!), international (cool!), and comprised of a series of fun, short interviews with all sorts of personalities and experts in the pet business field. You’re sure to take a gem away from each of these informal chats, each one built around the themes of making more money while experiencing more ease and more freedom (nice!).

All the details you need are here: Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference.

 

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success road sign

 

 

 

 

In my own pet sitting business as well as in my work with pet sitters and dog walkers, I’ve discovered some common traits that nurture happiness and six-figure+ success.

Here are five secrets for success (practice them and watch your pet business grow and thrive!):

1. Set office hours and keep them. Successful pet business owners know when to close up shop and when to leave the door closed until morning (even if it is their home office).

2. Don’t offer discounts before your clients ask. And even then only give discounts during very slow periods. Be sure to let clients know that this is a ‘one-time event’. Also let them know (with a smile) that you plan to do such a good job that they will want you back at whatever price you charge! Confidence is attractive in a service-based business.

3. Set boundaries in a clear and direct way with clients. Successful pet business owners enforce their policies and procedures with clients regardless of how uncomfortable it might be to do so. Feel the fear and do it anyway (in a loving way). It’ll save you time and money and also gain respect from your clients.

4. Hire a manager who can help run your business so you can have a life again. (One that doesn’t involve work 24/7.) Successful pet business owners know that hiring and having a manager, or even just a phone and email assistant to help them run the business, will help them make more money in the long run. (In addition to bringing more happiness, joy and ease in running the business when they ARE working.)

5. Go on vacation at least once a year. Successful pet business owners have their priorities straight and a vacation is part of their priority. They put the vacation date in their calendar and it’s as solid as a client appointment. And once the date is set, everything works out from there.

If you have a pet sitting and dog walking company and you’d like to experience #4 above: This month I’m offering a brand new webinar on how to hire a train the right pet sitting and dog walking office manager.

HowtoTrainManagerWebinarImageIn the last few years I had 5 managers running my own pet sitting business and because of that I was able to travel around the world for months at a time (while my business ran under their care). And when I wasn’t traveling I only worked 2-3 days a week in my business. That’s the power of hiring good managers! And I’ll show YOU how you can do that too in my webinar next month.

PLEASE NOTE: THE WEBINAR IS OVER BUT YOU CAN NOW PURCHASE THE HOW TO HIRE AND TRAIN THE RIGHT PET SITTING OFFICE MANAGER WEBINAR REPLAY LINK.

 

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right textFor the past couple of years I’ve been hearing a 4-letter word that causes so much stress for pet sitters and dog walkers.

Here is the word: TEXT.

Texting from clients (at all hours of the day and night) and texting from staff (also at all hours of the day and night) infuriates many pet business owners.

And of course the pet owners expect an instant response because that pet care provider has responded at all hours of the day and night in the past. It’s hard not to. Can you really just sit there at 11pm and NOT respond to a text you’ve read? It’s tough.

But training your clients and staff is like training a dog: you have to train people on what works for you and what doesn’t. When you respond to client and staff texts at 11pm, it causes your clients and staff to send more texts at 11pm (or later, egads!)

Here’s the thing with the texting: Many pet business owners keep allowing it to happen, even though they dislike it so much.

They (mistakenly) assume their clients will leave them if they stop offering texting as a method of communication. They (mistakenly) assume that as a business they have to offer texting as a form of communication to their clients and staff.

Nope. You don’t.

And if you stop allowing your clients to text you, you will be AMAZED at how much more peace you feel.

I promise.

Here’s how to stop your clients and staff from texting you:

1. Alert your clients and staff via email that starting today, texting is no longer a viable form of communication. We’ve all had the experience of texts getting lost or not delivered to the right person so you can use that as an ‘excuse’ if you need one. Let them know you can be reached at your office phone number or email. Remind them of your office hours.

2. When clients or staff members do text you (and they probably will as it’ll be a habit especially if they’ve been texting you for years), don’t text a reply. That just reinforces the ‘bad behavior’. Call or email them to remind them that you no longer accept texts and to please email or call your office going forward.

3. If, after a few weeks, large amounts of your clients can’t seem to stop texting you then I recommend looking into changing your cell phone number and getting a business landline or a new cell phone. (They don’t need to know it’s a cell phone. In fact, if they know, you’ll be recreating what you just worked so hard to change.) Obviously, changing your business number is a last resort but one that will work very well if the texting is out of control and you see no light at the end of the tunnel even after you’ve done the steps above. You can then send out an email stating your new number and that it will not accept texts going forward. That will nip it in the bud.

4. If you feel that you simply must keep texting your clients and staff (and it annoys you that you must) then set firm office hours and put your cell phone in the closet during non-office hours.

5. If you do need to get a new phone line (or simply upgrade the one you have), I highly recommend this phone service: Ooma.com. It is fantastic! Here’s some of what I love about it: it’s super easy to set up, the Ooma box plugs right into your wall jack and Voila! You are ready to go.

The business phone service is under $20 per month (the personal phone service is only $4 a month!) There are too many great features that Ooma offers to mention here so I recommend that you check them out if your current business landline is too expensive (mine was over $100 a month before I switched to Ooma) and/or if you need to create a new phone line.

Wishing you a wonderful (and text-free!) weekend,

~Kristin

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I recently got an email with an dog video attachment from Karen Levy, owner of Laughing Pets Pet Sitting and Dog Walking in Atlanta, Georgia.

But here’s the thing: I see so many dog videos that I thought, “Ah, here’s yet another dog video, maybe I’ll watch this one later.”

But I clicked on it anyway and I’ve NEVER seen a dog video like this. It’s 32 seconds of Diesel the Dog….well, you’ll see…

 

 

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